Exploring the Shared Heritage of Scotland and Bengal

Abir Mukherjee, the child of immigrants from India, was brought up in the West of Scotland. The FT calls his novels “taut historical crime fiction thriller[s] that also interrogate the Imperial legacy.” He started writing “to explore that shared history between Britain and India which… has made such a great impact on the country we live in and the values we share.”In A Rising Man he introduced ex-Scotland Yard detective Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee.

Set in Calcutta in 1919, it was inspired by Mukherjee’s desire to learn more about a crucial, but often overlooked period in Anglo-Indian history. It won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition and was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger.Smoke and Ashes, moves the action to 1921. Wyndham is battling a serious opium addiction that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force. Summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned to recognise the victim, having stumped across a corpse the previous night with the same ritualistic injuries. Unfortunately, the corpse was in an opium den…

Chaired by Nicola Sturgeon.

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